The holidays are the season of giving, and they are also the season of spending. It can be overwhelming to think about how to buy for everyone on your shopping list without leaving your bank account empty. Creating and sticking to a holiday budget and planning ahead can help. Follow these tips for more holiday cheer and less financial stress this holiday season:
It's not enough to simply know how much you plan to spend in total for the holiday season. You also need to break that number down by person. You can do that by naming an exact dollar amount for each person on your shopping list. Then, once you've hit that dollar amount, stop shopping for that person.
1. Decide on a per-person budget.
Find out when stores are having sales and which stores have the items you need for the best price. Make a shopping list and try to avoid impulse purchases by sticking to your list.
2. Plan ahead and shop smarter.
When creating your holiday budget, make sure to account for expenses other than just gifts, such as travel costs, decorations, entertaining, charitable donations, etc.
3. It’s not just the gifts.
Look for ways to cut back on your current spending. Can you eat out less or carpool with coworkers to save money on gas? A nice homemade gift can often have more meaning than store-bought items. Find creative ways to show you care without spending a fortune.
4. Embrace frugality.
Consider booking a flight for non-peak days, driving or taking a train if it’s a short distance. Use travel comparison sites to locate the best deals for your destination. Booking your tickets on a Tuesday saves you money and flying in the middle of the week tends to be cheaper.
5. Reduce your travel costs.
Consider starting a Holiday Club Savings Account now to set aside money throughout the year, so you will have a jump start on next year’s holiday expenses when the time comes.
6. Think ahead to next year.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Point Breeze Credit Union!